Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Another day, another DCFS outrage
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Another day, another DCFS outrage

Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

* CBS 2

Workers for the state’s child welfare agency knowingly left a 10-year-old child with psychological problems in their office for 30 hours, failing to place the child in a proper facility.

“A stranger who lives on the street could have done a better job” caring for the child, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Heidi Dalenberg told a federal court at a hearing on the Department of Children and Family Service’s failures.

Dalenberg said 10 high-profile DCFS staffers knew of the case. “No one had the sense to take [the child] to the ER,” she said.

The girl was kept in a DCFS office from a Thursday to Saturday in October. She should have been taken to an ER, or psychiatric hospital.

DCFS admitted in court that it’s facing big challenges regarding staffing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Bad Politician - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    “May 15, 2019 - In addition to the flat $50,000 search fee, the Pritzker transition committee’s contract for the DCFS search included a $3,500 administrative fee to cover search expenses.”

    JB spent an extra $53,500 on an executive staffing agency and these are the results?


  2. - Iamthepita - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    DCFS - “handcuffs? We didn’t know about that! A child abandoned in an office needing ER services? Musta slipped past our radar! We don’t even know what DCFS means!”


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    === Dalenberg said 10 high-profile DCFS staffers knew of the case. “No one had the sense to take [the child] to the ER,” she said.

    The girl was kept in a DCFS office from a Thursday to Saturday in October. She should have been taken to an ER, or psychiatric hospital.

    DCFS admitted in court that it’s facing big challenges regarding staffing.===

    Personnel… is policy.

    That’s 10… 10 staffers.


  4. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:49 pm:

    —DCFS admitted in court that it’s facing big challenges regarding staffing.—

    Even bigger than that…for sure.


  5. - Responsa - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:51 pm:

    Another shocking tale. The ongoing DCFS crisis conditions should absolutely be at the top of the list for the Pritzker admin to address and fix. Lives are at stake. Few if any other initiatives compare to this with respect to urgency and public outrage.


  6. - Edify - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    I can and will comment on DCFS and its continued plague. This Agency is completely designed to fail. I worked as an Investigator, in the field for two solid years. In those two years I was terrified of what every day might bring. I worked extremely long hours, caseload was pushing 43 ongoing investigations and I had little time to prepare for incoming investigations. I worked a 3 county area and on most days I would get three reports a day and would be expected to initiate all three per mandate, all the while working the other 43 open investigation.
    Office Supervisors did nothing to support their staff. The Union did nothing to support their field investigators. Seasoned investigators would tell you to “shut your mouth” and just collect your paycheck. Many children slept in my office or cars. I ended up resigning on the job while in the field, investigator down. Massive Panic attack, blood pressure 212 over 131 and vicarious trauma took its toll. I had reached out to the then Director BJ Walker and Union Reps about my situation and what I was seeing in the field. I was ridiculed and diminished as credible. The Area Managers, Local Supervisors, and Senior Investigators turned their backs on me and the children they are suppose to serve. I could never live with myself if a child lost their life while on my watch.
    Lastly, its time that all those involved working with or for DCFS need to take responsibility for these continued issues and need to come out and say it…we are all part of the problem.


  7. - Captain Obvious - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:55 pm:

    This is not a staffing issue. This is an incompetence issue. If this is how current staff is allowed to treat vulnerable children, then how is hiring more staff going to fix it?


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 1:55 pm:

    === This is an incompetence issue.===

    Personnel is policy.


  9. - Anon - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    Sadly, the problems at DCFS are infused throughout every inch of the main office. After dealing with DCFS senior personnel in my former role, I asked my agency to have someone else deal with them on future issues.


  10. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:04 pm:

    Someone should report DCFS to DCFS. Leaving a kid overnight in an office is neglect. Marc Smith should be telling JB what he needs to clean up these messes. More funding for foster homes, more staff, or maybe a law requiring DCFS executives to take kids home rather than leaving them in the office.


  11. - Reformer - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:08 pm:

    DCFS will always always have problems because the focus of the agency isn’t prevention or protection, it is crisis management. If you want to make real and lasting impact, you need a team to walk in the door and do a top to bottom review of the policies, practices, and personnel.


  12. - Father Ted - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    Edify, thank you for sharing your story and for your service to the state and its people in need.

    DCFS generally only deals with people when they’re at their worst, and if that’s not hard enough, is in the position of having virtually no margin of error. Most of us can make mistakes in our job that can be fixed. DCFS needs a foundational overhaul so that it can be put in a position to succeed. I don’t know what that looks like or how it gets done. I don’t know if anyone has the answer. But until it gets addressed, these stories will continue to happen and vulnerable people are suffering.


  13. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:19 pm:

    This is sad. It sounds like the entire agency has burned out. B

    The only person I know who could fix this is too smart to take the job.


  14. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    Incompetent is too kind of a word to describe the DCFS staff who knew and allowed this happen.

    They are inhumane.


  15. - Techie - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    Edify’s story confirms my intuition, which is that the problems with DCFS include both incompetence of some existing staff in addition to not having (nearly enough) staff to begin with. That caseload sounds completely unmanageable and can make those with the best of intentions and skills perform poor work since they can’t devote the needed attention to each case.


  16. - Juvenal - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:27 pm:

    === DCFS will always always have problems because the focus of the agency isn’t prevention or protection, it is crisis management. ===

    Stop. Just stop, please.

    DCFS is an agency dealing with 10,000 crises at once. That’s their job.

    10 senior staff knew about a 10 year-old girl in crisis and did nothing about it. That’s not crisis management, that’s failure. And it is the kind of failure that ought to get someone fired.

    As is overseeing a contract involving handcuffing kids and purportedly not knowing their was handcuffing going on. “Purportedly” because i dont see how that is possible.

    As is the the death of AJ Freund.

    This agency is not in crisis management mode, they are in PR crisis management mode, and that is never good for the kids.


  17. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:37 pm:

    Edify at 1:52 - sad but not surprising. Thank you for sharing. I suspect the truth is that there’s nowhere for kids to go. Not enough money for residential care facilities and not enough money for potential foster care families to take in youth with more challenges.

    I wish a DCFS executive would have enough morals to say this.


  18. - Perrid - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 2:45 pm:

    Why was she in the office to begin with? Was she taken out of whatever her current placement was because of her mental health crisis? Who decided to remove her if their only plan for her was to put her in a DCFS office? Was she in a mental health crisis, as in a danger to herself or others, the entire 30 hours? If so, why didn’t anyone decide, maybe around hour 4, that this wasn’t working, and she needed more treatment that they could give?

    The article says 10 senior staff were “aware” of the situation. What does that mean? They knew a girl was in the office? They knew she was having a mental health crisis? Who knew what, and when?


  19. - FED-UP2 - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    This is a State Agency failing these poor kids that need help. If a parent left a child in a room for 30 hours with no supervision they would be arrested.
    Gov start some heads rolling and clean the gutters out this is so tragic on all levels.
    We shackle these traumatized kids, leave them in offices, let them sleep on the floor!!! Where is the outrage?
    These kids need our help and Illinois has failed them miserably. Let’s get some answers now.


  20. - Generic Drone - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 4:01 pm:

    Sadly, there are instances where anywhere is better for the child, other than being home.


  21. - Father Ted - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 5:42 pm:

    I get all the people who want heads to roll, but it’s not like there are legions of new heads rushing to replace the ones that rolled. Look at what Edify said above- who would want to take this on knowing how physically and emotionally exhausting it is and the price paid for mistakes that occur?


  22. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 10:13 pm:

    Father Ted -

    I am a huge Jim Collins fan - the business author I mean.

    If you want to get the right people on the bus and in the right seats, you have to get the wrong people off the bus as quickly as possible.


  23. - Father Ted - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 11:27 pm:

    YDD-
    If it’s that simple, I take it you will throw your hat in the ring next time the director position is open?


TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Two DCFS employees on the AJ Freund case no longer have jobs
* Pritzker administration says Ald. Ervin's proposed delay would do "significant damage" to cannabis program
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser list
* Do better
* *** UPDATED x1 *** New laws
* Because... Madigan!
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Hey, UIS! What the heck are you doing?
* Another reason ComEd got what it wanted in 2016
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller